2013 A-Level MATSEC Marketing Results

Good results for all  Marketing Malta A-level Students

The MATSEC A-level Marketing Results are out and aren’t we pleased!!

All our students got a good grade in the a-level marketing exam and two even managed to achieve an A. We knew that all our students have been working hard to achieve good grades but one is never certain how well it goes until the results are published.

In total there were only 20 A-grades for the  A-level Marketing this year and we are super pleased that two of those A-grades have been achieved by 2 of our students!  In other words 10% of the A-grades are our Marketing Malta students.

As is traditionally the case, the average grade for the A-level Marketing exam was C-grade. In fact MATSEC board reports the following for the 2013 A-level Marketing results:

Total:                     403 students
Absent:                 38
Grade F:               54
Grade E:              40
Grade D:              70
Grade C:             117
Grade B:              64
Grade A:              20

Source for figures above:

Congratulations and a big well done!

Onto the next challenge…..

Well done to A-level Marketing Students
A big well done goes to all Marketing Malta students who have achieved some very good grades in the A-level Marketing MATSEC Exam.

New A-level Marketing Classes will be starting in September.  If you are interested in studying A-level Marketing, contact  Marketing Malta today on 9951 7383.





Starting out in Facebook #Hashtags

Some basic Facebook #Hashtags Tips 

#Hashtags are the most recent addition on Facebook.

What do Facebook #hashtags mean for you as a user:

  • The new facility will make searching on Facebook for a particular topic more easier, provided that topic has been #hashtagged!  Facebook itself stated “Hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic….”
  • If you want to  #hashtag anything that you are posting on Facebook,   start by picking up the keyword or topic and insert the symbol # before it.  For example if  I wanted to #hashtag the name of  this website, I would  type #MarketingMalta. When entering this symbol in the Facebook status field, Facebook will immediately highlight the text in blue, indicating that you are creating a #hashtag.
  • If you click on a #hashtag you will see what others are saying about the same topic.  This is a very interesting feature because you will be exposed to what others outside your circle are saying.

What do Facebook #hashtags mean for you as a business:

  • As a business, it is essential to view  #hashtags as  keywords. If you are already engaging in Search Engine Optimisation efforts, then all you need to do is dig out your most important keywords.
  • Select a series of keywords that you want to use as #hashtags and ensure that you include them in your posts.  Do not go overboard and make posts that are just a series of one #hashtag after another….
  • Be consistent in the way you present your #hashtags and ensure that you include the name of your business as a #hashtag.
  • Check out what others are saying about your business via #hashtags.

There is no doubt that Facebook has added this functionality to compete directly with the other platforms and services like Twitter and Instagram where hashtagging is the rule of the day.   The #hashtag is here to stay on Facebook and the sooner a business starts making optimal use of it the better.


Facebook #Hashtag Tips by Marketing Malta
Facebook #Hashtag Tips by Marketing Malta



From Cars to Planes

In our house, we have just about everything that is Disney Cars or Cars 2.  From the DVDs to the books, to jeans and running shoes, vests, socks, stationery, bags, lunch totes, umbrellas and swimming trunks, the stuff piles up and this list excludes the car toys themselves!  In the toy department, the collection includes so many different types of toys, the most prominent  of which  are  the several Lighting McQueen toys of various sizes and functionality. Without doubt the most loved is the die-cast model of Lighting McQueen.  Mr McQueen goes everywhere with my son and in fact we have run through several replacements (which invariably happen every time he’s lost).

Frequently when I go past my son watching Cars for the umpteenth time, I have often wondered, how soon it will be before Disney unleash planes. …..Well that time is now, or rather, Planes by Disney Pixar will be out in summer 2013.

Planes, new release by Disney Pixar scheduled for summer 2013
Planes, new release by Disney Pixar scheduled for Summer 2013

Cars have lighted up the imagination of kids in a big way and the fact that the concept is easily portrayed in a toy is really a super bonus. Kids simply whiz off straight from the movie into a real game of cars.   The story itself, with all the different car characters from Mack to McQueen, Sally, Doc, Francesco, Mater and The King along with the hundred other different cars just meant that the flow of merchandise could be substantial. In fact, aside from the success of the movies themselves,  Disney has enjoyed the success of Cars as a major boys franchise for Disney Consumer Products.  In fact Disney itself describes Cars as an “unstoppable force delivering on boys’ classic play patterns and fueling imaginations with new products and content that extend the storyline from film to books and into the home with a lifestyle merchandise” [Disney, https://www.disneyconsumerproducts.com/Home/display.jsp?contentId=dcp_home_ourfranchises_disney_cars_us; 5.6.2013].

So next in line, Disney Pixar touts Planes, a spin-off from Cars with the same kind of characters, but which too has great merchandising potential.   Planes will whizz off from the same kind of artwork and branding of Cars, so in terms of marketing, one can consider this spin-off as a brand extension of the product life cycle of Cars. With its distinctive bright red insignia, even little kids will understand that Planes and Cars go together! It can also be seen as a way to keep the interest in Cars on higher ground.   With Planes, the enthusiasm for Cars will be revved up too. The selling of merchandise will undoubtedly soar to new heights!

Personally I’m not a big Cars fan. However  when I toiled on a three-tier race-track cake with full 3-D model cars made of sugar paste (to scale) for my son’s 4th birthday, I was secretly happy that this was Disney Cars and not planes…. the flying dimension of planes and cakes cannot be as easily interpreted in 3D cake decorating!

Come next year, I’ll have to see what tricks and sugar engineering will be needed to fly off planes from cakes…..


Disney Cars Cake
Disney Cars Cake

A level Marketing Revision

Hints and Tips to A Level Marketing Revision

After toiling through a whole year (in some cases even 2 years), indulging in books and essays, few students enjoy the last revision. Even if you enjoy marketing,  one still needs to sit for the exam and even the thought of  the essay-intensive papers is not a joy-ride!

Revision is a time brimming with stress, cramming heads with facts and examples, and to be honest not even teachers enjoy it!

The following are some helpful tips when doing marketing revision:

–       Study through the year and prepare your notes so that you will be well prepared.

–       Do not mistake revision for studying. If you make no effort through the year, last minute revision is going to be much more painful.

–       Revise the work that you have done both essays and case studies.

–       Plan out a timetable of when you will cover and revise all marketing topic (leave none out of your revision list).

–       For each marketing topic, check out the most important aspects and look up a couple of exam questions.

–       Ensure you speak to your teacher about possible problems and aspects which are still not very clear to you.

–     Leave the last two days to go over the full course syllabus one last time.

One final tip – keep calm and do not panic.

Marketing Malta conducts a full course in A level Marketing covering  the A level marketing syllabus along with one-to-one Marketing Revision sessions according to students’ particular needs. For more information call on 9951 7383.

Good luck!

A Level Marketing Revision Tip by Marketing Malta
A Level Marketing Revision Tip by Marketing Malta

Thoughts on Multi-level Marketing

Is multi-level marketing a no-man’s land?

I love marketing.  Truth be told there are aspects and concepts of marketing that are I enjoy more than others.

In particular I love the product life cycle concept and how it unfolds in the market for practically every product and service (check out several past blog posts about product life cycle).

Similarly I enjoy investigating the various levels that a product can have from the core level which is the fundamental and oldest version of the product offering to the other layers that were augmented to the product over time to differentiate and add quality and value.

However there is one particular topic which I particularly bar. It is none other than the multilevel marketing.   Wikipedia defines multilevel marketing as:

“strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant’s “downline”, and can provide multiple levels of compensation.” [Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing, 4.6.2013]

In so far there is nothing really wrong, and when stated like that it feels like referral marketing which is something that has been around since the start of civilisation. It is technically very similar to word-of-mouth, with one big difference – The person making the referral (making the suggestion or praising a product) has a vested interest because every new sale will generate him/her some money!

In fact Wikipedia goes on to add that multi-level marketing can include pyramid selling.  This is where it brings forth a barrage of issues and also lights up the alert on scams (and yes years ago I did make the mistake of not realising that an offer was actually a pyramid scheme!).  Amongst the issues associated:

–       Are sales people of multi-level marketing visible as sales force or do they pose as friends, experts , colleagues and just part of community with no vested interest when in fact they do? If this is the case, then  this is exploitation of human relationships.

–       Should referrals by people who are really salespeople be called referrals or should the suggestion be presented simply as a sales pitch?

–       These sales people themselves are lured into engaging in multi-level marketing operation with the promise of easy-money-making opportunity. There is doubt about how much money can be made and how much of it is legitimate and how much is the result of contorted operations.

–       From an economic and mathematical viewpoint, multi-level marketing and pyramid schemes do not make sense. One cannot sell a product to everyone (each market is limited) and there is the risk of ending up having more sales people on the ground than there are customers!

–      Who controls multi-level marketing stances from the pinnacle of the pyramid and how?

–       The main thrust of multi-level marketing is definitely not grounded on what the customer wants but it is built on greed!

The Internet is rife with articles for and against (mostly against) multi-level marketing.  It is very vague which is the terrain on which honest multi-level marketers tread and where the foggy marshland of rogue multi-level marketers starts.

To me it has always felt like no man’s land. If you are out to sell something that is essentially good and honest there is no need for clever deceptions or undercover operations!

Multi Level Marketing - Is it a scheme?
Multi Level Marketing – Is it a pyramid scheme in disguise?

E-Marketing Course Certificate – Endorsed by University of Malta

E-Marketing Course is Level 2, Diploma Level

It is indeed with pleasure to write on this blog that the e-Marketing course that I have just finished delivering for Malta University Consulting has been officially endorsed by University of Malta.  A repeat of this course will be done during September 2013.  In fact all delegates who have attended the 8-session course (16-hours in total ) have been awarded an official e-Marketing course certificate that states the course is accredited as Level 2,  3 ECTS (Diploma Level) by the Department of Marketing within FEMA, University of Malta.

E-Marketing Course  Certificate
E-Marketing Course Certificate awarded by Malta University Consulting and endorsed by University of Malta

Well done everyone!

The 2012/2013 Marketing A-level Course comes to the end….

Last week we wrapped up the final revision lecture for our A-level Marketing class.

Over the past seven months, we have gone through the full A-level Marketing syllabus, no mean feat, when one considers that we do this through a once-a-week lecture. Our principle for this course is that whilst we ensure that the essential topics are given their due importance, we also cover the other building blocks that are part of the Marketing A-level MATSEC syllabus. We have also tackled several case studies and discussions along the way.

Now all there is left to do is checking out summary notes and  tackling Paper I and Paper II early next week….

Whilst wishing the students the best of luck not only for this exam, but for other A-level subjects that they are tackling, I wanted to personally thank them for the interest they showed in the topic and for being such a great team with whom to explore A-level Marketing.  I hope that they  have enjoyed the learning experience as much as  I did!

Thank you and Good Luck

Kristel Jo Bishop

Great Idea Poor Execution

I woke up today to a multitude of ‘potatoish’ statutes on Facebook. At first I ignored them but within a minute I had stumbled on the source – a video presenting and promoting the Maltese Derby Potato.

The idea is excellent – after all the Maltese potatoes are indeed one of the best in the world and can chin up to any rival product but in my opinion, the execution of the video leaves much to be desired.

The video has a ‘potentially’ good story-line, kicking off with a typical introduction to Malta but the first problems soon emerge:

– The script is not so well researched. Even though the potato is a very important crop, one cannot really state “No tradition is more closely associated with the island than the traditional potato harvest”.

– Several of the assertions that the young farmer states are somehow grammatically incorrect, and at times seem to be the result of an effort of a ‘poor’ translation from Maltese. At times the accompanying text at the bottom of the screen does not match his words. There are also some glaring typos and mistakes.

I found no problem with the authenticity of this young farmer’s English accent. After all, one can say, it is the accent of young man whose work has so far exposed him more to the toils of a field than to words. His passion and dedication for his work and the potato crop seem genuine and is admirable.

However I strongly believe that the director behind this production should have pruned the words in a way that ‘less is more’. Some statements should have been completely omitted, statements like “you can taste the sea, church, sun…” The sack-full of English language mistakes even in the transcription at the bottom of the video could have been avoided!

As at the point of writing, the video attracted only ‘Likes’, on YouTube. This is a clear indication that it went down well with the audience who saw it, but at the same time, some of the comments I read on Facebook like “ I have a dream….it’s a potato” come across more like mockery than praise.

Personally I concur with the young farmer that he has a dream. In that dream, the Maltese potato as a successful Maltese export is taken to new heights! It is a dream to which he has a right to aspire! And if he can dream it, he has youth in his favour to fully achieve it!!

Not the same can be said for the director of the video!

Derby Potato Promo
Derby Potato Promo



Online Marketing Course – Again!

The E-Marketing Course that was organised by Malta University Consulting during the period April / May 2013 was fully booked.

The course is still going on. Delegates from different industries and walks-of-life are currently attending the course and discovering about the various channels that can be possibly harnessed in their online marketing tactics. Many interesting topics have been covered with a variety of case studies. Tips and resources have been handed out in the notes that accompany each lecture. At the end of the course, Malta University Consulting will be giving a certificate to all delegates who are attending the course.

Due to the unforeseen demand for this E-marketing course, Malta University Consulting will be repeating the course during the month of September 2013.

For more details click here and then book your place today to avoid disappointment.

Online Marketing Course in Malta organised by Malta University Consulting
Online Marketing Course in Malta organised by Malta University Consulting

Socialnomics – it’s WorLd of Mouth!

I’m currently reading (even though I must admit at a very slow pace because I’m short of time), Erik Qualman’s epic book Socialnomics. It’s by far my favourite 2013 book.

The title page states that it’s about ‘how social media transforms the way we live and do business’ and the book is exactly that and more. Even for a heavy social media user like me, the book presents so many insights, ideas and case studies. So much thought has been given to customer behaviour and this can be translated into ideas about what companies should be doing in today’s age to generate more interest in their brands.

The book is easy reading and one does not need to be technically-versed to enjoy it. Whether you are a  marketing  student or a marketing director, this is one book that you cannot do without.  On reading the book, you will immediately realise that Qualman is to today’s media what Drucker was to management in the past.

Socialnomics (2nd Edition) 2013, by Erik Qualman is published by Wiley.

Socianomics by  Erik Qualman
Socianomics by Erik Qualman